A rumor from last week suggested that Apple could not only be looking to distance themselves from Qualcomm, but apparently could eventually start to move away from Intel for their iPhone modems as well, and could actually turn to MediaTek. Given that Apple tends to switch suppliers every now and then, it would not have been a completely ludicrous idea.
However according to a report from DigiTimes (via 9to5Mac), it seems that Apple’s decision on whether to go with MediaTek has yet to be made. This is according to their sources who claims that Apple “would not” make a final decision until both companies can reach some kind of consensus regarding product roadmap, technology development, and collaborative efforts.
However it appears that in the meantime, Apple could potentially be looking to test MediaTek’s abilities to produce for them. The DigiTimes report is claiming that MediaTek has entered into Apple’s supply chain as being one of their suppliers for custom WiFi chips that will be used in the HomePod. Whether or not this is a test or a mere coincidence is unclear, so we will have to wait and see.
Right now the race is on to build 5G modems to support 5G networks that are expected to become available next year. Intel has been working on it and so has MediaTek, but it remains to be seen who could end up being Apple’s main supplier.